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Ask Engadget HD: Best video encoding process to maximize quality & compatibility?


One of the more time consuming aspects of getting all our digital media in one place is ensuring quality and compatibility across different devices, which sounds like exactly the problem faced by our friend Kris:

"To save my precious DVD's and BD's from the horror of scratches, I encode all my videos to a networked PC. This PC then streams the video out to multiple different receivers (PS3, PCs, Xbox 360.) Usually what works on one may not work in another, or does not encode surround sound, or has some other quibble. Currently I'm using Tversity to pick up the slack, but it doesn't work 100% with every video type i have. (for example on some files the PS3 will not play the file at normal speed [too slow/too fast]) I do all my encoding on a Core I7 920 equipped box, and filesize is not a concern of mine. Any recommendations on a batch encoder/settings that can take care of my compatibility problems and still retain near full quality?"

It sounds simple enough, but finding that silver bullet of software, hardware and settings that lets you just press "play" and know the file will come through in full quality no matter where it came from or is being streamed to can be one of the trickiest parts of all. Let us know what solutions you've figured out.

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